The mission of the Jamaica Association of Nurse Anaesthetists is to advance the are and science of anaesthesia through a committed, satisfied and respected workforce, thereby providing patients with anaesthesia care that is accessible, cost-effective and of a high standard.

The early 19th Century was ushered in with debates over the morbidity and mortality associated with anaesthesia in the USA. Surgeons decided that the major cause of the adverse effects of anaesthesia was the occasional “anaesthetists”, and called for clinicians to dedicate themselves solely to the specialty of anaesthesia. They began encouraging nurses to be trained as anaesthetists.

These are some of the reasons surgeons turned to nurses:
(i) They would be satisfied with the subordinate role that the work required
(ii) Make anaesthesia their one absorbing interest
(iii) Accept the relatively low pay
(iv) Have the natural aptitude and intelligence to develop a high level of skill in providing the anaesthesia, the surgeon demands among others.


Thus in the late 1800s nurse anaesthesia was established as the first clinical nursing specialty in the USA. Today the American Association of Nurse Anaesthetists (AANA) in collaboration with the International Federation of Nurse Anaesthetists (IFNA) has set the gold standard for nurse anaesthesia worldwide.Most lay people and health professionals do not have knowledge of the world wide extent of nurse anaesthetist practice.  Many undeveloped countries have few physician anaesthetists and, therefore, these countries rely mainly on nurse anaesthetists.  Recent studies by the IFNA identify 107 countries where nurse anaesthetists are administering up to 90% of the anaesthesia care.  Notably, many of these nurse anaesthetists are struggling with the same pains of development that the USA nurse anaesthetists have confronted in their more than 100 years history. The nurse anaesthesia profession has strengthened and continues to grow through the dedicated members and outstanding leadership.

Nurse Anaesthetists are registered nurse specialists, trained in the art and science of anaesthesia. They administer anaesthesia and related anaesthesia care to patients of all ages and for all types of surgical cases, utilizing a variety of anaesthetic techniques. These highly skilled nurses monitor every important function of the patient’s body, regulate the anaesthesia as necessary, analyse the patient’s response, make decisions and respond quickly and appropriately in an emergency.

In Jamaica, nurse anaesthetists have been providing quality anaesthesia for over 50 years. They form the core of the anaesthesia services in the islands’ government hospitals, where they administer 65% of all anaesthetics given each year and play a significant role in developing the practice of anaesthesia locally and in the other Caribbean islands. The longevity of their practice can be attributed directly to their commitment to excellence and patient safety, and their willingness to provide service when and where needed.


Before the advent of Nurse Anaesthetists in Jamaica, anaesthesia was administered in rural hospitals during the early 1900s by dispensers, matrons of the hospitals or senior nurses, designated by the Medical Officer/Surgeon of the hospital. These dedicated persons had no formal training in anaesthesia but were supervised by the Surgeon who would administer the Thiopentone and then hand over patient to the nurse for monitoring. These nurses relied on their basic nursing knowledge, skills and their ability to nurse ill and unconscious patients. This system proved unsatisfactory for the surgical discipline and the safety of the patient was under constant threat. Surgical development was also hampered, as surgeons were reluctant to work in these rural hospitals. Most surgeons elected to do surgery under local anaesthesia. Many had the fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (London) and could do much more than was undertaken if better anaesthesia and postoperative care were provided. Many patients were forced to travel to the already overcrowded centers in Kingston for surgical intervention. In Kingston, anaesthesia was given by young aspiring surgeons who, themselves, had little interest or training in the speciality.

Nurse Anaesthetists Training in the USA:
Dr. Leo Freeman, Senior Medical Officer at the Spanish Town Hospital, on one of his visits to the USA in the 1950s observed nurse anaesthetists trained in the art of anaesthesia, competently administering general anaesthesia. On his return to Jamaica he lobbied the Government to send nurses for training in the USA. However, before negotiations were completed, Mrs. Nurielda Ernandez Newman, a theatre nurse at Spanish Town hospital, paid her fare and tuition fee to pursue training in nurse anaesthesia at the Graduate Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She returned in 1957 to work at the Spanish Town Hospital.

Improvement in Anaesthesia Care and Surgical Procedures:
Mrs. Newman, on her return to the Spanish Town Hospital performed creditably and so improved patient safety. Surgical load increased immensely. The Ministry of Health was impressed by her performance, and this paved the way for a total of eleven (11) registered nurses to be sent to Pennsylvania for training from 1958 – 1962. Some of those trained were Ivy Jarrett-Brown, Dorothy Denny, Sylvia Warren, Hyacinth Brennan, Lesmine Smalling, Daphnie Bloomfield, Lodi-Faye James, Nellie Seivwright, Ruth Gyles, Hyacinth Brown and Hyacinth Clarke.

Nurse Anaesthetists have been sole providers of anaesthesia in some rural hospitals up to the present time, delivering more than 65% of all general anaesthesia annually. Hospitals served include Falmouth, Cornwall Regional, Lionel Town, Princess Margaret, Mandeville, Savanna-la-mar, St. Ann’s Bay, Alexandria, Port Maria, Port Antonio, Annotto Bay, Black River and Percy Junor. Today, nurses are at the forefront of anaesthesia services in the public hospitals and are confronted with many challenges in the execution of their practice. They have, however, always responded with dedication and commitment to their patients, employers and colleagues. Not withstanding challenges of their role in the health care team, over-enthusiastic surgeons, equipment failure, long and tiring hours of work and inadequate remuneration and recognition for work well done continue to plague the specialty.

The Arrival of the SS HOPE:
In the fall of 1969 the HOPE Survey Team spent several weeks in Jamaica planning for the arrival of the SS HOPE in 1970. During this time Dr. Robert Dripps, then Professor and Chairman of the department of Anaesthesia, University of Pennsylvania, and his team conducted a survey and reported that of the 22 anaesthesiologists on the island, only three (3) worked in the rural hospitals and of the 38 nurses administering anaesthesia in the 20 rural hospitals only five (5) had been trained at Graduate Hospital of Pennsylvania. The majority received on the job instructions from the surgeons. He reported that the surgeons were competent and could do more procedures than what was being undertaken and he recommended that a training programme for nurse anaesthetists be started, as this would ensure better anaesthesia and postoperative care, which would improve health care in Jamaica and decrease referral of cases to Kingston.

Thus, the first local nurse anaesthetist training programme was started. The programme was organized through the cooperative efforts of Project HOPE, MOH and the UHWI. Mrs. Dorothy Denny was prepared to assume duties as tutor for subsequent classes. Paediatric anaesthesia experience was gained under the supervision of Dr. H. Chung-Knight, Head of the Anaesthetic Department at the Bustamante Hospital for Children. The programme ended in 1976 when Project HOPE terminated its services to Jamaica, and the UHWI felt that more local support was needed to continue the programme.

JSNA opened its door to six Jamaican Students:
In 1980, after Fidel Castro’s visit to Jamaica, the Cuban Government offered technical assistance in the form of anaesthesia training and five (5) registered nurses were sent to Cuba. Dr. Hazel Chung-Knight, the then Senior Government Anaesthesiologist, expressed the opinion to Dr. John McHardy, Senior Medical Officer (MOH), that Jamaica had the expertise and resources to train nurse anaesthetists. Stimulated by this utterance, the local team sprang into action (ANEU, UHWI, MOH). The team which included Mrs. Dorothy Denny, Dr. Hazel Chung-Knight and Dr. Beverley Grant-Lewis and Dr. Wadia Hanna, was assisted by a Consultant, Sister Mary Authur Schramm, CRNA, PhD, Nurse Educator, who was sponsored by Project HOPE. In September 1981 JSNA opened its door to six (6) Jamaican students Mrs. Dorothy Denny was appointed Nursing Director and Dr. Hazel Chung-Knight, Medical Director. January 1983, students were admitted from Belize, Cayman Islands and Montserrat. To date a total of eighty-eight (88) nurses have been trained, fifty-seven (57) from Jamaica and thirty-one (31) from the Caribbean and Belize. The school not only provides a cadre of trained nurse anaesthetists for Jamaica, but also for the Eastern Caribbean Islands.

JANA 1971 to 2007

Nurse Anaesthetists have been providing quality anaesthesia services since 1957, when the first trained nurse anaesthetist, Mrs. Nurielda Newman, returned from Pennsylvania and served at Spanish Town Hospital. Thus surgical workload increased and patient safety improved. Today these nurses form the core of anaesthesia services in the island’s government hospitals where they administer 65% of all general anaesthetics given each year. Over the years nurse anaesthetists have been faced with many challenges.

In an effort to overcome the many challenges, Mrs. Dorothy Denny, Mrs. L. Smalling and other pioneers joined forces and in 1971 the Jamaica Association of Nurse Anaesthetists (JANA) was formed as the professional organisation for nurse anaesthetists. Dorothy Denny was the first president and twenty-eight (28) charter members were identified. Their mission: “To advance the art and science of anaesthesia through a committed, satisfied and respected work force that would provide patients with anaesthesia care that is accessible, cost effective and of a high standard”. JANA promotes education, practice standards and guidelines and offers consultation to both private and governmental agencies regarding nurse anaesthetists and their practice. JANA is the professional association representing more than sixty (60) nurse anaesthetists in Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands. JANA is also a member of IFNA since 1998

In 1977 the nurse anaesthetists led by Mrs. Denny/ Mrs. Smalling and the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ), agitated for improved socio-economic welfare for nurse anaesthetists, resulting in the MOH awarding thirty (30) nurse anaesthetist posts – a major achievement, as nurse anaesthesia had now become a recognized nursing speciality in the health system. Another milestone was achieved on March 20, 2006 when the Association was incorporated under the Companies Act and can now conduct the affairs of the group and represent members at all fora. JANA is now an affiliate of the National Workers Union (NWU).

Mrs. Dorothy Denny, one of the pioneers, has been credited for the tremendous improvement in patient care in the difficult area of anaesthesia in Jamaica and the Caribbean Islands. She was awarded Order of Distinction (OD) in ________. The late Dr. Beverly Grant-Lewis, the then Senior Government Anaesthesiologist, remarked that “the present state of the anaesthetic service in Jamaica is largely the benefit of her input into the system over the years”. Nurse anaesthetists have been honoured and decorated by the Government and their hospitals for outstanding achievements. These pioneers, Mrs. Dorothy Denny, Dr. Hazel Chung-Knight and Dr. Beverly Grant-Lewis, worked assiduously to establish a school for the training of nurse anaesthetists in Jamaica.

JANA has developed continuing education programs for nurse anaesthetists and hsa encouraged and facilitated members to attend international and local conferences. Nurse anaesthetists are well recognized as indicated by the quality, competence and excellence of their work in the Island’s hospitals. The headquarters of JANA is located at the Kingston Public Hospital, North Street, Kingston; Jamaica W. I.

In summary, a successful Nurse Anaesthesia Training Programme in Jamaica was begun on the SS Hope, while docked in Kingston, Jamaica. The graduates, a total of eleven (11) nurse anaesthetists returned to the rural hospitals where they have substantially improved the level of health care. Project HOPE pledged to continue their participation and support as long as was necessary to ensure the success of the programme. This was realized, as Sister Mary Arthur Schramm, sponsored by the Project HOPE, assisted in the setting up of JSNA and later, the BSc. degree programme at UTech. She has visited periodically to assist with curriculum reviews and continues to function as Consultant to the faculty of JSNA during our upgrading exercise. In 1989 the BSc. degree in Nurse Anaesthesia at CAST, now UTech, was initiated and plans are in the making for a MSc. degree (Nurse Anaesthesia) in the future.



Jamaica Association of Nurse Anaesthetists
Association Year: April 1st to March 31st

Committee Members – 2008
President: Ms. Donna Bailey
Email: donbail67@yahoo.com
Tel: (876) 465-0348
Fax: (876) 949 5300
Vice President: Mrs. Grace Moodie-Hunter
Tel: (876) 579-1640 Fax:
Secretary: Mrs. Lorrett Carty-Jones
Email: sashaj101@msn.com
Tel: (876) 414-5018
Treasurer: Mrs. Shyvonne Lewis-Alexander
Assistant Secretary/Treasurer: Mrs. Maxine Nicholson
Email: melamaxine@yahoo.com
Tel: (876) 949-2166
IFNA Country National Representative (CNR): Ms. Erna Reid
Email: erna-nurse@yahoo.com
Tel: (876) 382-6953
Mrs. Joyce Daley - Email: joycedaley@hotmail.com
Tel: (876) 816-3573
Fax: (876) 922-0368
Ms. Erna Reid - Email: erna-nurse@yahoo.com
Tel: 382-6953 Fax:
Mrs. Marjorie Hylton - Email: Tel: (876) 386-2466
Ms. Sonia Dormer - Email: Tel: (876) 385-6338
Mrs. Grace Moodie-Hunter - Email: Tel: (876) 579-1640
Ms. Sonia Barnabi - Email: s-barnabi@hotmail.com
Tel: (876) 460-4771
Fax: (876) 922-0368
Mrs. Maxine Nicholson - Executive Secretary
Email: Tel: (876) 832-4896
Donna Bailey Email:donbail67@yahoo.com
Tel: (876) 460- 0348
Fax: (876) 949 5300



Board of Directors: Oversees and governs the functions of the association as it strives to institute and maintain the standards of Nurse Anaesthetist Practice and Education, through education research and leadership role in policy making.

Education Committee: Provides direction for the Nurse Anaesthesia Programme and improves the education of the tutors, both in clinical and didactic areas. The Committee awards continuing education credits for re-certification and maintains the lines of communication with all aspects of nurse anaesthesia, students, allied health professionals, non-medical organizations and government agencies.

Financial Committee: The Committee has the responsibility for overseeing the financial affairs of the association.

Government Relations Committee: The mission of this Committee is to help nurse anaesthetists become as effective as possible in the governmental affairs that impact on the well being of nurse anaesthetists. Members make telephone calls and visits to the government representatives to introduce the group, making nurse anaesthetists visible, also soliciting feedback information and forwarding this to the government.

Practice Committee: Set Practice Standards and address practice issues. This Committee also works closely with the Education Committee and keeps records of certification/re-certification of membership.

Programme Committee: The Programme Committee plans and implements education programmes for Clinical Preceptors, Annual Scientific Meetings and Annual General Meetings and reviews all evaluations. This group meets three times yearly to review programmes and make changes where necessary.

Public Relations Committee: This Committee meets whenever necessary. They disseminate information to members of the association, give information to the public and explore public relation opportunities with other groups/organisations. The Committee makes known their activities to the membership of the association.

Resolution/Nomination Committee: This Committee formulates recommendations on all resolutions submitted, or emergency resolutions and presents recommendations to membership. The Nominating Committee is responsible for soliciting candidates for office for the Association Board of Directors and elected committees._____________

GEOGRAPHIC REGION (Profile of Country)

Jamaica has an area of 10,999 sq. km. It is the largest English Speaking Island in the Caribbean Sea, and the third largest of the Caribbean islands. The island lies almost in the center of the Caribbean Sea. There are three main features in Jamaica’s geography:

(i) The Blue Mountains situated in the eastern section of the island that peaks 2,256 meters above sea level and is the highest point on the island. (ii) The Costal Plains of the North and South Coasts with miles of white sandy beaches. (iii) The lime stone hills of the Cockpit Country that are filled with caves and springs that cascade into swift flowing rivers and waterfalls.

The island has lush green vegetation, a tropical climate and is prone to storms and hurricanes especially during the months of July to November. The island is divided into three counties and sub-divided into fourteen parishes with Kingston its capital, boasting the 7th largest natural harbour in the world. Jamaica, since its independence from the British on August 6, 1962, operates a constitutional parliamentary democracy.

The delivery of health care in Jamaica rests with the Regional Health Authorities. The Health Authorities strive to guarantee safe, effective and good quality health care to the population. This is done with the aim to afford access and coverage and to improve the health care provided to the population. There are four Regional Health Authorities, each having a main regional hospital which accepts referral from the peripheral hospitals. There are 20 Government hospitals and seven privately run hospitals along with the University Hospital of the West Indies. The parishes in the regions are as follows:

1. South East Regional Health Authority:

. Kingston and St. Andrew

. St. Catherine

. St. Thomas

- Kingston Public Hospital
- Victoria Jubilee Hospital
- Bustamante Hospital for Children
- National Chest Hospital
- University Hospital of the West Indies
- Belleview Hospital
- Sir John Golding Rehab

- Spanish Town Hospital

- Princess Margaret Hospital
- 4 private hospitals
2. North East Regional Health Authority:

. St. Ann - St. Ann’s Bay Hospital

. Portland

- St. Mary - Annotto Bay Hospital

- Port Antonio Hospital

3. Western Regional Health Authority:

. St. James

. Trelawny

. Westmoreland

. Hanover

- Cornwall Regional Hospital

- Falmouth Hospital

- Savanna-la-mar Hospital

- 2 private hospitals

- Noel Holmes Hospital

4. Southern Regional Health Authority:

. Manchester

. Clarendon

. St. Elizabeth

- Mandeville Public Hospital
- Percy Junor Hospital

- May Pen Hospital

- Black River Hospital

- 1 private hospital


Jamaica Association of Nurse Anaesthetists C/o Jamaica School of Nurse Anaesthesia Kingston Public Hospital North Street Kingston

Tel: (876) 948-6374
Fax: (876) 922-0368

Mrs. Joyce Daley - Email: joycedaley@hotmail.com
Tel: (876) 816-3573
Fax: (876) 922-0368
Ms. Erna Reid - Email: erna-nurse@yahoo.com
Tel: 382-6953 Fax:
Mrs. Marjorie Hylton - Email: Tel: (876) 386-2466
Mrs. Grace Moodie-Hunter - Email: Tel: (876) 579-1640
Donna Bailey Email:donbail67@yahoo.com
Tel: (876) 460- 0348
Fax: (876) 949 5300


1. Nurse Anaesthetist of the Year
The Glexo SmithKline Award
2. Awards of appreciation
3. Honorary membership
4. Public relations recognition award (best promotional efforts)

The GlaxoSmithKline Award formerly the Critikon Award:

The GlaxoSmithKline Award is presented annually to a nurse anaesthetist who has made invaluable contribution to the specialty of nurse anaesthesia.

1. Purpose:
The Critikon Award, now the GlaxoSmithKline was established in 1984 to recognize individuals whose foremost dedication to excellence has furthered the art and science of anaesthesia, and resulted in high quality patient care.

2. Award:
The recipient is given a cash award and a plaque, inscribed with the recipient’s name and the year of presentation. The recipient’s name is also added to a plaque bearing the names of previous recipients. The plaque is kept for a year by the recipient. This award is presented annually during the Annual Scientific Conference.

3. Eligibility:
The nominee must be a nurse anaesthetist who has been actively involved in improving quality patient care, and must:

(i) Be an active member of the Association
(ii) Demonstrate a caring attitude toward patients, colleagues and supervisors
(iii) Demonstrate leadership abilities
(iv) Execute duties with dignity and professionalism
(v) Contribute to the development of the Association and the positive image of the nurse anaesthesia profession during the year
(vi) Continue to participate in ongoing education of students and practitioners.



Benefits of members

Membership Categories/Fees/Privileges

Membership runs on a fiscal year from April 1st to March 31st

. Active Membership:

. Certified, Re-certified, Non re-certified - 1.25% of basic salary
. Life - exempt
. Emeritus - 50% - of annual dues - one time ($6,000)
. Inactive Membership - $1,000.00
. Conditional Membership - exempt
. Honorary Membership - exempt
. Associate Membership:  
. Student - $2,000.00
. International - $1,500.00 (US $25)



Active membership shall be limited to those individuals who are able to provide evidence of the following:

. Graduate of an approved school of nursing (as determined by the jurisdiction in which the applicant practices).
. Possession of current license as a registered nurse . Compliance with guidelines and standards established by the association
. Graduate of an accredited programme in nurse anaesthesia . Is a citizen, resident, or employed in Jamaica
. Comply with other qualifications or requirements set fourth in the constitution.




(i) Active members have the privilege of voting, of holding office, of serving on committees.

(ii) Active certified – individuals who have been granted initial certification.

(iii) Active re-certified – individuals who currently re-certified.

(iv) Active non re-certified – individuals who are required to be re-certified but are not currently re-certified and desire to enjoy the rights and privileges of active membership.

(v) Life membership – individuals will hold this category of membership for life. Life members are exempt from payment of dues.

(vi) Emeritus – individuals who have held membership for a minimum of 25 years, who desire to enjoy the privileges of active membership but have retired from the practice of anaesthesia. One time payment of Six Thousand dollars ($6,000.00).

(vii) Inactive membership - An inactive member is a former active member who:

(i) is not engaged in the practice of anaesthesia
(ii) may attend meetings but may not vote or hold office in the Association
(iii) may request transference to active membership upon meeting the requirements for said membership and the payment of required fees.

(viii) Conditional membership – The Board of Directors may at its sole discretion grant conditional membership in any category of classification to a person who fails to meet one or more of the qualifications for such category of classification of membership. The terms and conditions thereof shall be prescribed by the Board.

(ix) Honorary membership – May be conferred upon an individual by the Board of Directors and when conferred shall entitled that person to enter into discussion at any meeting of the membership without the right to make motions or vote and shall exempt such members from payment of dues.

(x) Associate membership – Students enrolled in an accredited programme of Nurse Anaesthesia shall be eligible for Student Associate Membership which shall come to an end when the student graduates from an approved programme. Associate member shall have the privilege of attending meetings as:

(a) a non-voting participant, and
(b) the privilege of being elected and appointed to serve on specified committee.

(xi) International membership – An international member is a nurse anaesthetist who has completed a programme of basic nursing education and basic nurse anaesthesia education and is qualified and authorized in a country other that Jamaica, to practice nurse anaesthesia. He/She be a member of a national association.

The national association must be a member of the IFNA.

Privileges of an International Member: International member shall be eligible to attend:

(i) The AGM with the right to make motion
(ii) Shall be eligible to attend the Annual Scientific Conference
(iii) Shall not be eligible to vote or hold office
(iv) At the discretion of the Board of Directors, shall be eligible to be appointed to serve on Adhoc Committees.

Copyright 2008 JANA
All rights reserved.